Busy construction season impacting bike lane costs

The only bid to construct the Pandora Avenue two-way bike lane project has come in higher than anticipated.

The only bid to construct the Pandora Avenue two-way bike lane project has come in higher than anticipated, but the city is sticking to its original design plans in order to get Biketoria rolling.

In June, the city put out a request for bids and extended the original July 5 deadline by three weeks to provide the construction industry more time to complete submissions. By July 26, however, only one bid of $3,23 million had been received from Brunnell Construction Ltd., exceeding the city’s initial cost estimate.

Since that time, the city has secured $890,492 in funding from BikeBC for the project, increasing the total available funding to $2.98 million. Additional funding could also be used from the Gas Tax Reserve, according to a city report.

City staff originally pegged the project at an estimated $2.06 million when it appeared before council in April. That number was adjusted to $2.99 million in June following the release of the tender.

After receiving the bid from Brunnell, city staff looked at alternative options, such as redesigning the project to reduce costs and re-tendering, but noted any delay would cascade to the other proposed bike projects and doesn’t necessarily guarantee a lower price tag.

City manager Jason Johnson said a red hot construction market is to blame.

“We have few bidders and that’s just indicative of what’s out there in the construction industry right now,” said Johnson, noting the construction industry generally likes to have projects go out earlier in the year.

“We’re going to put more rigour behind our estimates coming forward.”

During a meeting last week, some councillors expressed concern about the cost of the bid, but were hesitant to further delay the project to see if the price would go down. Construction on the 1.2-kilometre Pandora bike lane was originally slated to begin in January, but now crews hope to have it finished before the end of November.

“I think we need to move forward with Biketoria implementation. For that reason I can sort of swallow this pill,” said Coun. Ben Isitt, noting the immediate need for safe biking facilities in the city.

“We needed those five years ago and we don’t want one more cyclist to die in this city because of a collision with a motor vehicle.”

The Pandora Avenue bike lane would run along the north side of Pandora Avenue between Store Street and Cook Street, becoming the city’s first fully protected bike facility. It’s also the first of the five corridors slated for phase one of Biketoria — a network of eight bike corridors stretching 24 kilometres that connects neighbourhoods and urban villages in the downtown core.

With a budget of $7.75 million, the cycling network will be implemented over four phases. Designs for the second part of phase one along Fort Street (Wharf Street to Cook Street) are already underway.

As for protected bike lanes, the city is focused on building a minimum grid of 5.4 km in the downtown core by the end of 2018. The grid consists of five corridors, including Pandora Avenue. For more information on the project visit victoria.ca.

 

 

 

Just Posted

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read